Lack of literature on flipped lecture rooms

Compiling literature on flipped/inverted classrooms for higher education isn’t easy. A lot of returns are of the “I couldn’t believe my ears!” type blog, which is fine for what it is, but not an academic study. Yet more literature, typically of the Chronicle or Educause type, tends to say flipped classrooms are great, and they lead on to MOOCs (as in the case of this recent C&EN piece), with a subsequent discussion on MOOCs, or tie in flipped classrooms with Peer Instruction, with a discussion on peer instruction. In these cases, and especially so for PI, this is the intention of the…

The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education

Call for Papers Contributions are invited for a themed, peer-reviewed issue of CERP on The Application of Technology to Enhance Chemistry Education which is scheduled for publication Autumn 2013. Guest Editors: Michael K Seery and Claire McDonnell. Topics for contribution may include but are not limited to:  Blended learning to support ‘traditional’ instruction (e.g. online resources, wikis, blogs, e-portfolios) In-class technology (e.g. clickers, iPads or equivalent) Online learning (e.g. distance learning initiatives, online collaborative learning, active and interactive eLearning, computer simulations of practical work, modelling software for online learning) Cognitive considerations for online learning (e.g. designing online resources) E-assessment (e.g….

Variety in Chemistry Education Meeting, 2012

Variety in Chemistry Education is one of my favourite conferences which I attend annually (2010 and 2011 reports here). This year’s meeting was held along with the Physics Higher Education Conference, providing the catchy Twitter hashtag #vicephec. The meeting was opened with a keynote by Prof Martyn Poliakoff, inorganic chemist from Nottingham, but better known to 102,403 YouTube subscribers as the star of the Periodic Table of Videos series, which have been viewed over 25,243,185 times. Prof Poliakoff received the 2011 RSC Nyholm Prize—awarded every other year for Education. He spoke about the development of the videos, working with video…

Showing Worked Examples in Blackboard Quizzes

I’ve been thinking of ways to include worked examples and hints in Blackboard VLE quizzes. Cognitive Load theory has something called the Worked Example effect, whereby learners who receive direct instruction in the form of worked examples perform better than those who don’t. The reason is attributed to providing novice learners with an approach to solving a problem that they can replicate, thus alleviating the working memory load while solving a problem. There’s some more on worked examples here. The question then was how to provide a worked example (or a hint, a slightly less informative way to guide students)…

8th Irish Variety in Chemistry Teaching Meeting

DIT played host to the 8th Irish Variety in Chemistry Teaching meeting, modelled on the very successful UK Variety in Chemistry Education (ViCE) meeting on Thursday May 10th. There was a workshop in the morning covering two aspects of technology in chemistry teaching; using wikis, by Claire McDonnell, who demonstrated how to set up, edit and modify a wiki, along with highlighting the advantages of a wiki for monitoring group work – the ability to be able to track who did what and when. Claire identified this as the most useful aspect of wikis from her perspective in teaching. My…

Making and Characterising Silver Nanoparticles

Here’s a video demonstration of how to make silver nanoparticles, and change their colour easily by adding silver ion to a seed solution. Colour is monitored by UV/visible spectroscopy and some particle sizing is done by dynamic light scattering and TEM (transmission electron microscopy). This is a short overview video of a much larger interactive resource that will be published soon as part of the RSC HE STEM project. It’s also related to the Nanotechnology Workshop we developed for schools [PDF].  

Using WordPress for E-Portfolios

The Resource Pack aims to show how WordPress web publishing platform ( can be a useful tool in creating and presenting e-portfolios. It aims to show what can be done technically to integrate various elements of an e-portfolio: the documentation of learning, conversation with peers and tutors, and presentation of the ‘product’ for assessment and/or feedback.[Jan 2012]